Author Message
Breathing Aug 29, 2002 08:43 a.m.

I saw on another posting about breathing techniques that help you relax. I find that when i'm playing fast I don't breathe evenly which makes my body tense. Does
anyone know any methods to help this. Do people breathe in relation to the laya or anything like that? Any information on this would be great, thanks, Steve.
Re:Breathing Sep 01, 2002 10:52 a.m.

I guess I wouldn't breath in any syncopated fashion to playing. The thing is to be detached physically as much as possible. I try to be relaxed down to the fingertips. There is an exercise for relaxing which works for sleeping and I subconciously use for tabla.
Sleeping : Your laying in bed and you start with your toes, first clinch them then relax and let them go (both feet at the same time) then clinch the muscle of the whole foot and let go, next calf, thie, pelvis, stomach, chest, it is good to take a deep breath and let it out for the chest, then you do your arms starting with the fingers. The point is be clinching first then you know what is tight then you relax it so as you move up your whole body your keeping assessment that everything you have done is now totally set free and relaxed. If you don't feel a point is start again from that point . You work your way all the way to the head then let that go and in a few moments you fall asleep . For me I can fall asleep before I finish.
Anyway as you get better at doing you can apply it to tabla. I do a sort of instant version on my whole body. Then as I am playing I try to relax my arms starting with the shoulder and working my way down to the hands. If I find I tense up then I repeat the process. One thing you can check yourself by playing something fast tense your arms then relax them and play it again. I find that the really fast stuff can only be played when my arms are relaxed and loose.
Re:Breathing Sep 03, 2002 07:28 a.m.

Hi Steve,
We have one (only one) constant in our body: our weight. Try to reach a feeling, every point of you is affected similarly by the force of gravity. You just need enough craft (of your muscles) to keep the weight of your body-part, but not more. More tension makes cramps. Any problem of breathing is the effect but not the cause.
Anyway i didn�t reach anything with breathing techniques and i know nobody to do that. The point is i guess, you have to forget the breathing, not to concentrate to it.
Re:Breathing Sep 03, 2002 02:17 p.m.

I disagree with aperion. I think breathing is the cause of the tension, and the millions of people worldwide who practice Yoga will agree with me. This is true in life in general, and especially true for musicians.

I suggest that you try doing some breathing exercises outside of your playing to see what effects they can have on your body. I wouldn't focus on breathing exercises while playing, but if you do them outside your playing time, the good habits you cultivate will eventually seep into your playing and each other facet of your life.

You might even find your life transformed! This is the power of meditation. My personal opinion is that a personal meditation practice is essential for one to be a great musician. This can take many forms, and may be different for two different people. The physical aspects of breathing well and relaxing the body are only the more superficial effects of meditation. The real benefit is being able to find ecstasy within yourself and share it with others through your music

Re:Breathing Sep 05, 2002 03:04 a.m.

I have an other idea for you: tell the bols loudly and just breathing like while speaking. Enjoy it.
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